Blog Post | September 28, 2020

Update on the California Data System

Author: Angela Perry

Autumn is off to a busy start, and that’s especially true in the world of higher education data! As we shared in our last blog, recommendations for how the Cradle-to-Career Data System should be structured and managed are being created by a Workgroup and various Advisory Groups and subcommittees through a series of public meetings. A Governance Committee Structure Homework Team, made up of members of several of those groups, held two meetings in September – one on Sept. 17 and one on Sept. 21 – to discuss the size, authority, responsibility, and makeup of the entity responsible for managing the data system. During the course of those discussions, a lot of differences of opinion surfaced about the role of the managing entity and the stakeholders that should be represented as members.

The trickiest part has been finding a way to ensure equitable representation of stakeholders – not only the data contributors like colleges and the Employment Development Department, but also data users like students, parents, advocates, and researchers – while also creating a productive entity with a practical number of members. Given that one of the primary goals of the data system is to serve students and families, many advocates expressed a desire to make sure that the public is given equal power in making decisions about the data system. Although the data contributors are essential stakeholders, their influence over the data system should not overpower the influence held by the data users, and thus far they have definitely had the dominant hand in the planning process.

Group facilitator WestEd took the Homework Teams’ various feedback, and has prepared a new set of recommendations for the Workgroup to review at their meeting tomorrow, September 29. This new Governance Structure Proposal includes several alternate proposals which may helpfully rebalance the discussions, including expanding the number of seats for public members to eight, and creating a list of criteria for the type of people who are appointed.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be open to the public, and if you’re interested in supporting these proposals you can tune in and share your input through public comment. Find information on the meeting here.